Escape of the Week: Salt & Sill, Sweden’s first floating hotel

Written by on June 29, 2012 in Destinations, Hotel, Reviews - 29 Comments

You can see it from the bridge over to Klädesholmen, the dark brown Salt & Sill hotel.

The Salt & Sill afloat

Floating. On large pontoons.

Without a doubt, it is one of the most unique hotels I have ever visited. Anywhere.

I drag my suitcase behind me as I walk into Salt & Sill’s reception, which gives way to the restaurant. A decade ago, this restaurant was the little spark that lead the owners, Susanna and Patrick Hermansson, to open the hotel arm of this popular hideaway.

Reception and restaurant entrance to the popular Salt & Sill

The main dining room

Restaurant Salt & Sill, known for its pickled herring courtesy of  the waters surrounding it, is the hotel’s original claim to fame. In fact, the hotel only opened a few years ago, following the enormous success of the restaurant. Today, the hotel offers cooking classes in a gorgeous kitchen overlooking the water, guiding participants in how to properly pickle this Swedish mainstay.

Six types of pickled herring served as one of the restaurant's main courses

Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the restaurant serves up traditional Swedish dishes. In the mornings, when daylight washes into the light dining room, the buffet has homey touches, like handwritten tags on fresh-squeezed juices. At the restaurant, it is all about presentation.

And killer views.

While in the summer the hotel is filled with guests relishing the warm temperatures, late night sun, boating, swimming and fishing culture, it is open year-round. In the colder months, Salt & Sill is host to many business conferences.

The little touches

It’s the little attention to details that makes Salt & Sill so charming.

Each guest room at the Salt & Sill is adorned with a photo of a herb or spice native to the region. One color from that art is pulled and then woven throughout the room via blankets, colored frames around the television and more.

There are also the personal ladders that add a little touch of luxury to the property.

Even on this cloudy day, it is easy to imagine the summer sun beating down onto the boardwalk and cooling off in the waters outside the rooms. And, just beyond that … a floating sauna that guests can hire to cruise along the water.

My personal favorite? The glorious roof top deck above the hotel, complete with plenty of seating to watch that late night sunset sink down under the Gotenburg’s granite archipelago.

The bottom line: While all but one of the rooms features twin beds (the suite is the only room with a large bed), Salt & Sill is comfortable (albeit sparse) and nice. Wifi is quick and can be found throughout the property. I stayed there when the weather was not ideal, and no one was in the nearby town, so there was not much to do. However, in the summer, with the warm air and water temps, I can see this being a great place to unwind and enjoy the Swedish summer.

Want to try the hotel for yourself? Check out it’s Web site for more information.

Editor’s Note: My time in Sweden is courtesy of Visit Sweden, however all opinions are my own. If you have questions regarding this, please read my disclosure policy. Want more on Sweden? Follow along in Twitter and Instagram, #myswedentrip.

About the Author

Diana Edelman is an avid traveler who recently spent four years living as an expat. Most notably, Diana spent nearly three years in Chiang Mai, Thailand where she worked with Save Elephant Foundation to raise awareness about the realities of elephant tourism. Currently based in Las Vegas, Diana works in many industries as a publicist, social media expert, content creator and journalist. The founder of Vegans, Baby, you can normally find her hanging out at vegan restaurants around town, exploring the beauty of the desert southwest or camped out at a coffee shop banging on a keyboard. The co-founder of the Responsible Travel & Tourism Collective, Diana has spoken at conferences about travel blogging and responsible tourism.

29 Comments on " Escape of the Week: Salt & Sill, Sweden’s first floating hotel "

  1. Christy @ Technosyncratic June 29, 2012 at 2:00 pm · Reply

    What a brilliant idea to attach a hotel to an awesome floating restaurant! I’d definitely stay here, and would love to take that cooking class.

  2. Diana June 29, 2012 at 4:43 pm · Reply

    It was SO cool!! Let me know if you make it there. I can give you recommendations for other cool things to check out along the way!

  3. Barbara June 29, 2012 at 11:31 pm · Reply

    This is too cool!!!! I LOVE it!

    • Diana July 3, 2012 at 1:59 pm · Reply

      I loved it!!

  4. Brock - Backpack With Brock June 30, 2012 at 8:57 am · Reply

    Wow! I would love to stay in a floating hotel!

  5. Ali June 30, 2012 at 10:42 am · Reply

    This looks like such a cool place! Like you said, the little details can make such a big difference.

    • Diana July 3, 2012 at 1:59 pm · Reply

      It was very unique. I’ve stayed in a lot of cool places, but never one that floats!

  6. Bret @ Green Global Travel July 1, 2012 at 12:02 am · Reply

    Oh man, the food and the place look amazing. What does pickled herring taste like? With this new diet I’m on, I’ve been craving weird foods lately…

    • Diana July 3, 2012 at 1:58 pm · Reply

      It reminds me a lot of sushi. I loved it!! Try it!

  7. West Sweden TB July 2, 2012 at 2:05 am · Reply

    Lovely article and pictures from Salt & Sill . Thank you !! Will follow your Sweden adventures in your blog.. tack

    • Diana July 3, 2012 at 1:56 pm · Reply

      Thank you!! Chck out the post I did on Pilane — it’s an Escape of the Week!

  8. Angela July 2, 2012 at 10:39 am · Reply

    Lovely, for a floating hotel I would have probably imagined something more “rustic” 🙂

    • Diana July 3, 2012 at 1:54 pm · Reply

      It was really cool! Very clean, crisp.

  9. Debbie @ European Travelista July 2, 2012 at 10:12 pm · Reply

    I find the idea of a floating hotel very exciting! It would be so cool to try this. Thanks for sharing this wonderful find.

    • Diana July 5, 2012 at 7:50 am · Reply

      Of course! I stayed in a lot of beautiful places when I was in Sweden!

  10. Waegook Tom July 3, 2012 at 9:33 am · Reply

    Dayummmm D, this looks AMAZING! Loving the handwritten signs on the juices, that’s too cute – and would like to try my hand at making some pickled herring! I know where I’ll be staying at in Sweden 🙂

    • Diana July 3, 2012 at 1:51 pm · Reply

      I LOVED my time at the hotel. It was the perfect way to start my trip in Sweden. I would have loved to have taken the cooking class, but I was so exhausted from a day of traveling and then exploring, I passed out for hours!! Let me know if you need help planning a Sweden trip. I spent a week frolicking around Western and Skane.

  11. Camels & Chocolate July 3, 2012 at 3:21 pm · Reply

    When we lived in Scandinavia, I always found their breakfasts so interesting–fish, sandwiches, I mean it’s really just a third dinner of the day, right? This place looks like any other hotel I’ve ever visited!

    • Diana July 5, 2012 at 7:47 am · Reply

      The breakfasts were very dinner-y. I had pickled herring for breakfast, lunch and dinner. By Day Four I was done with it!

  12. Erica July 3, 2012 at 3:23 pm · Reply

    I LOVE these. They are super cute and so terribly… Swedish. <3 I would love to explore one day.

    • Diana July 5, 2012 at 7:46 am · Reply

      YOU WILL.

  13. Abby July 3, 2012 at 4:13 pm · Reply

    Excellent shots!! I might need a lesson. 🙁

    • Diana July 5, 2012 at 7:45 am · Reply

      Thanks, babe! When you visit me in Thailand we can do photo shoots!!

  14. Bobbi Lee Hitchon July 4, 2012 at 2:55 am · Reply

    I love everything about this place. It’s beautiful inside and the food looks so interesting. What a great concept, did it feel like you were floating the whole time though?

    • Diana July 5, 2012 at 7:42 am · Reply

      You couldn’t tell you were floating, at all!

  15. Stephanie - The Travel Chica July 4, 2012 at 11:23 am · Reply

    This place looks fantastic plus the cool factor of being a floating hotel.

    • Diana July 5, 2012 at 7:42 am · Reply

      It was fantastic! And cool!

  16. santafetraveler July 4, 2012 at 2:42 pm · Reply

    Salt and Sill looks wonderful. The food photos made my mouth water. It reminds me of an Irish restaurant I wrote about. The Tannery in Dungarvan, County Waterford ( also started as a restaurant and now has offers lodging and cooking classes. Wonder if this is a bit of a trend.

    • Diana July 5, 2012 at 7:42 am · Reply

      Hmmm. You never know!!!

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